The Ultra music festival once again returned to Miami with approximately 50,000 festival-goers attending the annual event during the three-day weekend of March 29-31. This year, the festival operated differently as it relocated from Biscayne Bay to Virginia Key, with the most notable difference being the shuttle system from three locations in downtown Miami that took attendees to the festival via the Rickenbacker Causeway.
The new transportation system enraged many fans, including Haley Lanzoni, a freshman broadcast journalism and theater major.
“They didn’t have enough shuttles and made us walk over the bridge back onto the mainland, which was three miles,” Lanzoni said. There where tons of people walking over the bridge, over a thousand, she added.
Still, the festival delivered as a whole, with headliners The Chainsmokers, Martin Garrix, Zedd and Marshmello electrifying the crowd with high-energy performances, students said.
Motion pictures and advertising major Alex Veraart was captivated by the festival for a different reason.
“You always see people you know even though it’s such a big crowd,” said Veraart. “I think it’s all about the vibe and the people you’re with, not so much the music.”
While Veraart and many others went to Ultra to release some stress, UM freshman Talon Smith, worked with volunteer organization Clean Vibes and spent hours sifting through garbage cans, separating trash from recyclables in the bins.
It did not always feel like work for Smith, however. Being close to the main stage was still a rush, he said.
“I was just bumping to the music as I went through garbage cans,” Smith said.
Though the experience was fun for Smith, he said he felt grateful for the impact his work had on the environment and on others.
“If you pay $400 and go, you’re like ‘OK, I spent a whole lot of money,’” he said. “You’re having fun yourself, but you’re not putting anything out into the world. I felt like I helped out. That day was meaningful to somebody, somewhere, some day.”
Check out the photos below to see a recap of Ultra day two through the lense of Hurricane photo and visuals editor, Hunter Crenian.
Festival-goers had to arrive at one of the three designated shuttle areas located around downtown Miami that would transport thousands of people to the festival in Virginia Key. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
Traffic was at slow crawl on the Rickenbacker Causeway in Key Biscayne throughout Ultra weekend as tens of thousands of people were trying to make their way to Virginia Key. Some shuttle rides took up to two hours to get from downtown Miami to the Ultra stages. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
Hundreds of people line up to get their wristbands scanned and bags checked as they entered the festival Saturday afternoon. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
The "World Stage" overlooked the downtown Miami skyline from Virginia Key. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
The water station lines were backed up on the hot Saturday afternoon as festival-goers were not allowed to bring their own bottles of water into the festival. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
The Ultra store where festival-goers were able to purchase various merchandise. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
Attendees purchase the many options of shirts, hats, and accessories offered at the Ultra shop. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
Fire erupts from the Ultra main stage Saturday afternoon. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
Festival-goers dance as the to the music being played at the main stage. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
University of Miami junior student Dana Musso smiles as the fire from the main stage ignites behind her. Musso worked for the festival as part of "Mission Control" who made sure festival-goers were safe and directed traffic to the different stages. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
A few of the attendees take a break from dancing as they sit in front of the "Ultra Worldwide" stage. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
One of the unusual but popular food options the festival offered was the "Fried Oreo." There were many different options that included burgers, pizza, falafel, and vegetarian options. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
Two attendees dance as the Sun sets on Day 2 of the festival. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
Hundreds of festival-goers sit in the eating area as they take a break from the music. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
Many of the festival carts would routinely pick up and empty the trash found in the designated areas. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
A rainbow appeared behind the main stage at Ultra on Saturday evening. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
Many festival-goers sat on the shoulders of others as artists "Nghtmare" and "Slander" perform. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
Thousands of attendees crowd around the Ultra main stage. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
The Sun reflects off of the World Stage as it sets Saturday night. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
The "Live Arena" stage lights up in front of the sunset in Virginia Key. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
One of the art installations that was put up for attendees to take photos and interact with. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
Fireworks shoot off from the top of the Ultra main stage Saturday evening. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
Artist 'Tchami' performs live for the audience at the Ultra main stage Saturday night. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
Carbon dioxide cannons fire at the Live Arena stage as artist, "Gigantic Nghtmare" (spelt correctly), performs. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
The World Stage is lit up with the multiple screens and lights shining down on the audience as artist "Elephante" performs. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
Festival-goers dance under the World Stage as artist "K?D" performs. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
Fire ignites from under the stage at the World Stage venue. Photo credit: Hunter Crenian
Eli Griswold and Bryan Acevedo contributed to this reporting.